New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has again called for legislation to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational use.
This move would see New York join neighboring states that have already legalize the product.
More recently, Cuomo has opined that legalizing marijuana will help reform the criminal justice system and bring in over $300 million in revenue to the state.
“Recreational marijuana, I think this should’ve been passed years ago. I think too many people have been imprisoned and incarcerated and punished. Too many of those people are Black, Latino, and poor,” Cuomo said recently.
“I’ve supported it for years. I’ve tried to pass it, but this is a year where we do need the funding, and a lot of New Yorkers are struggling. So, I think this year will give us the momentum to get it over the goal line,” he added.
However, there continues to be opposition to open pot to New Yorkers.
Opponents have charged that legalizing marijuana at this time would be double jeopardy.
They pointed to the twin crises of a coronavirus pandemic that has killed tens of thousands of New Yorkers and a troubling spike in drug overdose deaths that have killed more.
“In the midst of an unprecedented respiratory pandemic and overdose epidemic, it is a terrible idea to commercialize high potency, dangerous pot products. It is a risky proposition for New York, and it won’t make anyone other than a few investors rich,” said Kevin Sabet, a former top official in the Office of National Drug Control Policy who now heads Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an anti-legalization group, in a press report.
“Our leaders in Albany need to be laser-focused on addressing the fallout from the pandemic, not debating on how best to enrich Big Pot’s investors.”
Cuomo has tried twice before to legalize marijuana in New York.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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